Factors that Affect the Cost of Private Pay Medical Transportation

Before booking private pay medical transportation, you'll want to know what factors affect the cost of the ride. Here are six to look for.

Medical transport is a perfect solution for a variety of different types of clients. But more often than not, Medicare and private insurance won't pay for it. The patient or the family must pay privately for the service. Rates can differ substantially, so before you pay privately for medical transportation for yourself or a loved one, be aware of some important factors that will affect the cost of the ride.

Depending on location and other circumstances, the cost of ambulance services can vary substantially; from $224 to $2,204 per ride.

Distance of trip

As with almost any form of transportation, the distance of the trip will affect the cost. Medical transportation providers should be able to give you a standard mileage rate for private pay for each level of care. Make sure you account for tolls along the way so you're not surprised when the bill arrives.

Level of care

Most ambulance and medical transport companies classify level of care into three distinct categories:

  • Specialty care services (SCT): Ambulance transportation for acutely critical or chronically ill patients requiring advanced life support.
  • Basic Life Support (BLS): Ambulance transportation for those who require stretcher, continuous monitoring, and basic support services.
  • Wheelchair Van/Medical Car: Transportation for those who require wheelchair assistance and/or supervision to appointments.

Before you can get an idea of what your trip will cost, you'll need to know which category you fall into. The most common modes of medical transportation for private pay are BLS, wheelchair van, and medical car.

Number of additional passengers

Sometimes, providers may charge an additional fee for one or more passenger(s) to accompany the client on his or her trip.

Amount of advanced notice

If you book at the last minute (i.e. less than 24 or 48 hours prior to the start of the trip) you may experience an additional charge, or worse, you may not get your travel arrangements handled. Before booking, make sure to find out the provider's policies on booking and cancelling and the necessary timeframes for each.

Trip frequency

If you call for a quote, most companies will probably give you the cost of a single round-trip. However, if you are looking to schedule a recurring set of trips, ask if you can work out a slight discount. If you will need transportation services on a regular basis, you may be able to negotiate a more competitive rate.

Quality of provider

Private pay rates may vary widely depending on provider. Some companies may be able to charge very little by cutting corners in one way or another. A company that uses real-time GPS vehicle tracking, provides continuing education, and delivers superior clinical care may cost up to double what the fly-by-night provider is charging.

Need to arrange for private pay medical transportation in New Jersey? Set up your trip quickly and easily with our online medical transportation scheduler.


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